Story: Wind and solar power

Wind power as a source of New Zealand's electricity

Wind power as a source of New Zealand's electricity

Between 1992 and 1996 wind-power generation of electricity in New Zealand was minimal – there was one experimental wind turbine in Wellington. But it increased dramatically during the late 1990s and early 2000s with the introduction of full-scale wind farms. The upper graph shows this increase.

The lower graph shows that in 2007 wind contributed just over 2% of electricity to the national grid. Over 50% of New Zealand’s electricity production came from hydroelectric generation. Just over 30% came from thermal generation using non-renewable, fossil fuels such as gas and coal. The forestry industry uses waste woody biomass (wood) to produce electricity and several landfill and sewage facilities extract methane (biogas) to do the same. Solar power generation was insignificant.

Using this item

Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

Source: Ministry of Economic Development (figures have been rounded)

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Veronika Meduna, 'Wind and solar power - Renewable energy in New Zealand', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 24 January 2022)

Story by Veronika Meduna, published 12 Jun 2006